“I wanna be full,” my grandson says.
Tomato red rims his mouth, like the ring around a bullseye. Sauce lies draped down the front of his green shirt.
A whole lotta food didn’t hit the mark.
He looks around for mommy and with plate in hand heads for the chief cook, face washer, and catastrophic mess cleaner.
His words make me smile. “I wanna be full.”
Uneaten food, the don’t-wanna-eat-half-chewed-clumps rolled on his carried dish. They were for some unknown reason, undesirable.
It is a 3-D illustration of how we sometimes feel about spiritual nourishment.
My daughter-in-law’s eyes light up as the plate is thrust under her chin, as if her son just finished a marathon, or at least as if those bites of leftovers on his plate merited great reward.
For a child whose appetite is satisfied by goldfish crackers and salami, his almost-devoured dinner was a great accomplishment. It merited the pleased mommy exclamation, “Whaaaaaat?”
He waits and her blue eyes connect with his, which twinkle back. A proud smile spreads across the red smeared cheeks.
“You can be done,” she nods and takes the plate with its rejected remains.
But his words, “I wanna be full,” still ring in my ears.
God called Ezekiel, the Old Testament prophet, to a difficult assignment with an unpopular message to deliver to Israel. Ezekiel first needed strength and nourishment from God’s Word to accomplish it.
“‘But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.’” Ezekiel 2:8 ESV
The picture comes to mind of the littlest of the Schroeder clan in a high chair. You have probably witnessed that little rigid stance, with the power to make spoons fly like aircraft. Food buzzes by begging the hangar to open, but at last swoop, it’s batted away. And we all know, a baby’s clamped mouth is like the jaws of a mule.
Our world craves satisfaction. People hungry for fullness are ready to try almost anything. Open moral borders like cavernous mouths inject most everything that flies past. In an attempt to assuage those inside rumblings, desires pull away from truth, and intake starves the soul even more.
Because only Jesus can satisfy the hungry soul.
Ezekiel’s first response was obedience. He opened his mouth, and God Himself put His own words into it.
“And when I looked, behold, a hand was stretched out to me, and behold, a scroll of a book was in it.” Ezekiel 2:9 ESV
A rebellious heart is demonstrated by refusal to receive God’s Word.
Ezekiel’s mission of pouring out the Word of God to the listening ears of God’s chosen, first needed to be received and internalized to be digested. God wanted him full.
My grandson’s words bring a lesson to me.
Wanting to be full, and actually being full are not the same thing.
God’s Word is a priceless gift of truth in my hands. I have an anchor in an unhinged world, faultless and unchanging. My approach must be one of humble need with a desire deeper than any excuse.
I can be like a child who wants to be full for all the wrong reasons. If I come to the Word of God for my own satisfaction, I will stay at the wanna-be-full stage without enjoying being with the Father where true fulfillment rests.
God’s Word, my spiritual nourishment hits the target of my heart when I desire to be filled by the Author.
When I’m already squirming with other things on my plate, I may be tempted, like my grandson to just “wanna be done” rather than take the effort to dig for understanding.
“I want to know Him,” Paul said in Philippians 3:10. The Apostle spoke of his ardent desire to eat His Words, digest His thoughts, to become more and more like Christ in daily life.
God’s mission for Ezekiel would require spiritual strength and stamina. It needed courage and wisdom. He would meet opposition, he would face ridicule. He needed the sustenance of the scroll.
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103 ESV
Our daily consumption of His Word matters in its living out. It did then. It does now.
My grandson is off on another mission to slay the bad guys and I’m left with the question, do I just wanna be full, or am I being truly filled?
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